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We will act on our shortfalls- Alweendo on fallen Fraser Survey ranking

by Kelvin Chiringa

Newly appointed mines and energy minister, Tom Alweendo, has indicated that there is no way out for Namibia but to address the various shortfalls that contributed to the fall on the Fraser investor attraction ranking.

The latest survey has kicked the Namibian jurisdiction from position 53 to 54 citing that laws are still too difficult for investors to navigate while government’s issuance of licenses ahead of its own legislated rules and approval processes brought in unnecessary delays.

Corruption and nepotism have also been fingered as still dominating licensing processes.

“In order for us to attract global capital into the mining sector, it is necessary for us to continue to improve our competitiveness as an investment destination,” said the minister in a media engagement at the ministerial offices yesterday.

He added that Namibia is competing with other jurisdictions that are tapping into the same global capital market.

“It is for this reason that we will continue to review our policy framework to ensure that we have the right regulatory framework that is able to attract the necessary investment capital,” said the minister.

He added that over the last couple of years, Namibia was able to attract capital to the sector and between 2011 and 2016, the sector realised fixed investments to the tune of N$43 billion.

“While surveys like the Fraser Institute are not necessarily sacrosanct, they are useful indicators of what might need to be reviewed. It is good to note that a process has been underway to review our mining legal and regulatory framework,” he said.

He indicated that there is also a need to speed up the review process to ensure that legal and regulatory frameworks do not become disincentive in attracting the needed capital.

“Another area we need to focus our attention on is the need to do more with regards to the value chain management in the mining sector. We need to ask ourselves questions such as: To what extent is the mining sector contributing to the overall economic development of the country and can it do more?”

“To what extent are we able to add value to the minerals that we are extracting such that the mining sector footprint is enlarged? Where do we source the inputs into the mining operations? These are the issues we need to discuss with the mining fraternity. In this respect, I have earlier met with the Chamber of Mines and they are willing to engage,” he said.